Week Eight Meal Plan

This week’s meal plan is brought to you by Heather’s sister Keely!

Hi Everybody!! I have to admit, I am the meal planner in our relationship but have somehow managed to hit the husband lottery when it comes to doing the actual cooking. We have a handy dandy chalkboard on our fridge – I find the meals & what page of cookbook or where on Pinterest to find the recipe … the rest is history. This is a rare week where we don’t have a lot going on, so we’re going to enjoy it by eating all of the favourite things. Here are some of the go-to meals in our house; I could probably just put this meal plan on repeat for the next 100 years:

Snack: Turkey Crescent Rolls – Ok, It’s not that exciting. But it is so easy. And Quick.  The only problems are trying not to overindulge when they’re fresh out of the oven and to save some for the rest of the week.

Monday: Zucchini stuffed chicken, and home made sweet potato fries.  It’s a bit of work, but it is so worth it.

Tuesday: Taco Tuesday – Duh! Lately we’re onto the Mahi Mahi Fish Taco Recipe from the Skinny Taste Cookbook… I don’t know what Mahi Mahi is, so we usually use tilapia. Complete with the avocado sauce, and lime slaw, I could eat at least ten of these. Pairs well with a certain light lime beer beverage or a margarita.

Wednesday: Garlic Chilli Shrimp Pasta – We’ve morphed this recipe from somewhere but it involves a bit of marinating, a bit of spicy, and a whole lot of delicious: shrimp, garlic, broccoli and whatever sort of noodles we have in the cupboard.

Thursday: Greek wraps. OMG. They are a bit of work, but now that BBQ Season is here, it is important to eat as much as we can because it will be winter before we know it. We marinate for a few hours and skewer the chicken, peppers and red onion. Add all of that to a fresh pita and top with lettuce, feta, tzatziki (thank you spell check!) and have lemon rice on the side. YUM!

Friday: Homemade Pizza… We got a pizza stone 6 months ago and while we still haven’t perfected the crust, we are getting SO close… you can’t go wrong with Friday night pizza night!

Saturday: Going out for dinner at a great local establishment.

Sunday: Mexican Lasagna. Exactly like it sounds. Take two things that you can add anything too – Mexican food and lasagna – and put them together for something that tastes amazing.  Bonus- it is perfect for Monday lunch leftovers in case you haven’t gotten your butt in gear for next week yet.

Well, I hope you enjoy!

 

P.S. My “A bit of Work” equals about 20 minutes…

 

 

Blueberry and Oatmeal Muffins

The Blueberry and Oatmeal Muffins from Finger Pricking Good recipe turned out really well. Our house was turned upside down this week as we prepare for (unexpected) major foundation repairs this coming week. This meant I didn’t end up making anything snack-wise for the week until Saturday. Ah well. At least the recipe turned out fantastic and I have a lot of tasty muffins to share with those helping with all the dog sitting that’s needed this coming week while we have contractors over.

Here are some photos of this tasty recipe’s results!

Tasty tasty muffins

 

I typically would use frozen blueberries for baked goods, but fresh ones were on sale and really popped in your mouth in a way frozen ones would not, so be careful if you end up eating them hot out of the oven!

In the spirit of streamlining our activities for a stressful week, my sister Keely will be contributing her meal plan this week so I don’t have to prepare one, so stay tuned for that in a little bit!

Week Seven Meal Plan

This week I’ll be taking some of my own advice from 5 Ways to Start Your Weekly Meal Plan and will be eating through some items found in the depth of our freezer. It is supposed to be sunny and an average of 20 degrees Celsius each day here, so there are also two BBQs planned — it’s the most wonderful time of the year! Here is what’s on the menu this week:

Snack: Blueberry and Oatmeal Muffins from Finger Pricking Good

Monday: Side Salad and Turkey Chickpea Burger, recipe from an old 2009 Clean Eating Magazine
Tuesday: Chicken fingers and homemade sweet potato fries
Wednesday: Sloppy Joes Made Healthy from Culinary Zest
Thursday: Dinner out
Friday: Corn and sausages
SaturdayFlank Steak with panko, pine nuts, spinach from Clean Eating Magazine
Sunday: Lenny’s Better-Than-You-Can-Imagine Bolognese and penne

And here are some inspirational photos, in case you aren’t excited yet!

SONY DSC

Blueberry and Oatmeal Muffins from Finger Pricking Good

 

Turkey and Chickpea Burgers

Side Salad and Turkey Chickpea Burger, recipe from an old 2009 Clean Eating Magazine

 

Healthier Sloppy Joes

Sloppy Joes Made Healthy from Culinary Zest

Italian Ricotta Cookies

These cookies smell divine, and their taste is not too far from that either. The Italian Ricotta Cookies from Love Bakes Good Cakes were relatively easy to make although I did end up cooking them for twice as long as was recommended, and they didn’t taste overcooked either. I made 47 of them so co-workers, hope you are ready for some fluffy and delicious snacks!

Here are a couple photos:

That moment when you realize you’ll need to vacuum the counter clean before wiping it clean…

 

Sprinkle cookies!

Three-Mushroom Teriyaki Stir-fry

The Three-Mushroom Teriyaki Stir-fry from The Art of Living Well is somewhat of a staple in our house. It is published in a cookbook of the same name that I received as a gift a couple of years ago but is also conveniently on the author’s website. I’m always a little hesitant to buy so many mushrooms, but they always cook down to a manageable amount for 3-4 servings. The brown sugar, rice vinegar, soya sauce mix is a little bit gnarly to clean, but it smells quite fantastic so it balances out.

Here is a picture from our dinner!

Sesame seeds totally make the dish — do not skimp out on those!

Roasted Carrots with Honey Butter

We hosted my sister, her husband, and her kiddo for Easter dinner this year and made: turkey, roasted potatoes, feta strawberry sunflower seed salad, and Roasted Carrots with Honey Butter from the Eating In The Middle cookbook. The carrots I have made many times before, but if you’ve never had roasted carrots with honey butter, you should definitely try it out the next time you’re cooking something in the oven for an hour so. While it takes a while, they are positively delicious and use relatively few dishes to prepare!

Here is a picture of our dinner:

Tasty, tasty Easter dinner!

Week Six Meal Plan

After a busy weekend, our busy-ness continues with something scheduled every evening Monday-Friday; This week is a week for quick meals! Here is a summary of what we plan on eating this week:

Snack: Italian Ricotta Cookies from Love Bakes Good Cakes

Sunday: Turkey, Roasted potatoes, Feta Strawberry Sunflower Seed Salad, and Roasted Carrots with Honey Butter from the Eating In The Middle cookbook
Monday: Three-Mushroom Teriyaki Stir-fry from The Art of Living Well
Tuesday: Pasta, sausage, and more of the Jamie Oliver 7-Veg Tomato Sauce
Wednesday: Hamburgers and sweet potato fries from Center Cut Cook
Thursday: Lemon Roasted Chicken With Moroccan Couscous from Food Republic [didn’t make it last week and froze the chicken for this week]
Friday: Dinner out
Saturday: Chicken Broccoli Noodle Casserole from Skinnytaste

Some inspirational photos:

These Italian Ricotta Cookies are super soft and absolutely delicious. They are sure to become a favorite!

Italian Ricotta Cookies from Love Bakes Good Cakes

 

Roasted carrots with honey butter, a light, simple and irresistible side dish! cookieandkate.com

Roasted Carrots with Honey Butter from the Eating In The Middle cookbook

 

three-mushroom-teriyaki-stir-fry

Three-Mushroom Teriyaki Stir-fry from The Art of Living Well

7-veg tomato sauce

Jamie Oliver 7-Veg Tomato Sauce

 

baked sweet potato fries 5

Sweet potato fries from Center Cut Cook

 

Chicken Broccoli Noodle Casserole from Skinnytaste

5 Ways to Start Your Weekly Meal Plan

Sometimes the hardest part to anything is getting started. For me and exercising, I find that once I put my exercise clothes on, I’m 100% more likely to go out. Likewise, with meal planning, settling on something to start with for the week helps to get the ball rolling. Here are some strategies I’ve used that you may want to try for planning your meals for the week!

1. Shop Local

We’re approaching the time of year when a Saturday morning trip to the Farmer’s Market becomes the perfect way to start a meal plan. When the Farmer’s Markets are a little less exciting, I’ll replace this with a short trip to one of the more gourmet grocery stores instead. 1/2 a bushel of fresh fava beans available? Time to find a recipe for fava beans. Six zucchini for $2? Time to plan some meals featuring zucchini. Fancy pancy cheese half price? Time to find a recipe to use up some inexpensive but super tasty cheese.

2. Shop Flyers

There is little sense in planning four beef dishes in a week if you have no beef and beef is not on sale anywhere, at least if you would prefer not to spend a tonne on groceries for the week! Perusing the flyers and planning your meals around the most inexpensive proteins for the week will help you stay on budget and give you a starting point to choose meals from.

3. Don’t Shop at All

Creating an inventory from what you have on hand can inspire meals using items on hand. There’s also nothing quite like freeing up space in the freezer by working your way through items your past self thought worth saving. From frozen meat and vegetables, to pantry items, to fresh items on their way out, there is often a lot of food to work from in your own home once you go looking for it.

4. Work With a Theme

Start with setting aside one day for a meatless meal (Hello, Meatless Monday’s!), one for chicken, one for beef, one for pasta, one for pasta, one for something egg-based, one for a slow-cooker meal, one for dinner out, one for tacos (that one’s for my sister!), etc.. I use this strategy most regularly in conjunction with the others.

5. Peruse Other Meal Plans

Whether they are my own (harmless, self-promotion here: http://eatingtheinternet.ca/category/meal-plans/), from a favourite cooking site (one of my favourites is: http://www.skinnytaste.com/meal-plans/), or maybe even a bank of your own standards, there’s no sense in reinventing the wheel. Even if you don’t end up following what someone else has created 100%, use it for inspiration!

What strategies do you use when meal planning? Perhaps try something new, and let me know how it goes!

 

Maple-Crusted Salmon

Lenny has been quite busy preparing for his defense April 21, and last week when I asked what traditional Easter foods he might like to have, he was only half listening and heard “what Eastern foods would you like?” This joke has carried on for a few days but today we finally made his requested Easter dish: fish on Good Friday.

The Maple-Crusted Salmon from Foodie Crush proved fairly easy to make, tasted delicious, and required minimal clean up. I will warn you in advance, if you skip putting the fish on tin foil you will be sorely upset with the amount of clean up. Using the recommended tin foil on the other hand, made clean-up a breeze!

Here are a couple photos of our fancy Good Friday dinner!

Finally, some good natural light for a dinner photo! I love that the days are becoming longer. Feta, instead of butter, on steamed vegetables is one of my new favourite things to do.

Fancy dinner to celebrate the end of Lenny’s first week at work!

 

Slow Cooker Jambalaya

This week I made the Slow Cooker Jambalaya from Budget Bytes. I accidentally put in 1 tbsp of cayenne pepper instead of 1 tbsp of paprika (they looked the same at 7am…). It fortunately (?) made a large number of portions, but Lenny loved having something spicier so that worked out well. I tend to find many slow cooker meals mushy, but the cured meat and rice stood up really well so if this is something that also prevents you from using your slow cooker more often, you may want to try out this recipe. I foresee revisiting this recipe in the future with a more appropriate amount of spice!

Can you smell the spice from there?